Monday, April 11, 2016

Have they run out of insensitive racist idiocy yet? Well no

I'm a few days late noting this because I was out of town--in San Antonio, doing a novel reading--but now that I've seen it I have to take it up. You see, Calvin Trillin, longtime New Yorker food writer as well as novelist and doggerelist, wrote a poem. Of sorts. A two-stanza verse that he obviously thought was all in darned good fun, with which misjudgment the magazine's editors apparently concurred, for they published it in the April 4 issue.

The title: "Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?" The conceit, such as it is: a U.S. gourmand ruminates about Chinese food. The result, in the words of Paula Young Lee writing in Salon: "a racist nursery rhyme." 

I can do nothing better than point you to Lee's piece for a fine takedown of Trillin and his casually white-North-American-bourgie-foodie-centric "humor." And to suggest that you also follow some of her links, as I did, to a number of terrific takedowns of Trillin and his ilk, including these two brilliant ones:

You can also check out "The World Is Our Oyster Sauce--A Twitter Poem Inspired by Calvin Trillin."

And finally, this from the Asian American Writers' Workshop: "We're in the Room, Calvin Trillin."